Search goes on for Durham and Wearside's top executives

Last year, the Durham and Wearside crown went to Wayne Edy, founder of sports shoe company Inov-8

Wayne Edy receives his award
Wayne Edy receives his award

Nominations are being sought for Durham and Wearside’s Business Executive of the Year 2013.

One talented and inspiring individual will be selected from the region to go head-to-head with winners from Teesside, and Tyneside and Northumberland, in the finals of North East Business Executive of the Year Awards in November.

Run by The Journal in association with the Evening Gazette on Teesside, the awards recognise great role models of the business world who have led their companies to fresh achievements over the previous 12 months, sometimes in the face of adversity.

Last year, the Durham and Wearside crown went to Wayne Edy, founder of sports shoe company Inov-8.

Born in Zimbabwe, Edy left Africa, aged 26, after launching a chain of sports shops and developing other businesses.

He moved to the North East to work for walking-shoe firm Brasher and outdoor gear-maker Berghaus before launching a company to sell his shoe designs that went against conventional practice, their lightweight structure allowing runners to feel the ground beneath their feet so they could react better to the terrain.

When the company started life in 2004, it was based in a former Methodist church in Wolsingham, Weardale.

Within eight years, however, Edy built up the brand to the point where his products were being sold in 58 countries, including the US, where they are top sellers, winning high-profile fans like chief scout and television adventurer Bear Grylls.

In the year before Edy picked up his award, the firm enjoyed sales growth of 130%.

Its international staff had also grown by 17 to a total of 44 and the business had sold a minority stake to London-based investors Isis Equity for an undisclosed sum understood to be around £12m.

The 30th North East Business Executive of the Year Awards will be held on Thursday, November 14, at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park.

To make a nomination, reserve a table or find out more, see www.thejournal.co.uk/businessexec

Regular updates can be found on Twitter, using the hash tag #businessexec

Alternatively, contact events manager Lesley Hampson on 0191 201 6435 or email lesley.hampson@trinitymirror.com

Within eight years Edy built up the brand to the point where his products were being sold in 58 countries, including the US, where they are top sellers

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